tv MTP Daily MSNBC January 27, 2022 10:00am-11:00am PST
that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports," and chuck todd and "mtv daily" start right now. right now. welcome to "meet the press daily." i'm chuck todd. moments ago president biden and stephen breyer spoke at the white house officially announcing his retirement once his successor named an confirmed. president biden said he'll select a nominee worthy of breyer's legacy and aims to do it before the end of next month. >> i will select a nominee worthy of justice breyer's legacy of excellence and decency. while i've been studying
candidates' backgrounds and writings, i've made no decision except one -- the person i will nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience, and integrity, and that will be if first black woman ever nominated to the united states supreme court. it's long overdue in my view. i made that commitment during the campaign for president, and i will keep that commitment. i will fully do what i said i'd do. >> as we mentioned yesterday when the news was first breaking, breyer's retirement is supremely good timing for the president and his party, a chance for democrats to refocus their midterm messaging, reenergizing the base, and reengage on issues ranging from abortion rights and voting and more that might play in their favor in a midterm election cycle. senate democrats could move quickly on this once biden chooses a nominee next month. democrats are aiming to confirm the pick as soon as possible, maybe with the same warp speed that republicans confirmed amy coney barrett in the days before
the 2020 election. democrats weren't happy about the rush in the process, but one said they are seeking a similarly speedy time line to replace justice breyer. why the hurry? one explanation is democrats need a win badly. the president's slumping approval rating has dragged the party into shellacking territory for the upcoming midterms according to our yost recent nbc news poll and our new midterm leader. in a 50/50 senate, you're always at risk of potentially losing the majority no matter what happens. as you can see here, the president's support right now is currently hemorrhaging across every major democratic constituency -- independents, black voters, women, latinos, you name it. the president's standing with black voters looms large with his wanting to name a black woman to the supreme court. capitol hill o'donnell is at the white house, pete williams is here. for more on the significance this moment holds for democrats.
also joined by wash wash post columnist eugene robinson and punch bowl news co-founder john bresnahan. kelly, i want to start with what we just heard from the president there. you could just tell and my conversations with sources at the white house yesterday, i'm sure you felt it, as you said on the air yesterday, you know when a moment changes and it almost feels like it's changed the president's posture, if you will. >> reporter: there is also a sense of relief coming through the president. he was relaxed. he let more of his personal connection to justice breyer come through. and then he sort of gave us the memo, anticipating all the questions our colleagues were going to ask about what is the time line, how will this play out, giving us sort of the playbook of how he plans to handle this process. there will be many more questions to ask and many issues
that will pop up along the way where we will want the president to be accountable for the steps on an interim basis. but he gave us the roadmap of how he's going to handle this. and for a brief moment here at least, events have moved in his direction where he's got some control. and so much of his presidency has been affected by things that have been big issues not in his control, from covid to vladimir putin to a global economy, and so on. so of the things he can control, he's got a process he can run in the white house with people who know how this process works. he's got a selection of terrific candidates who are esteemed women who have a lot to offer the court, and he has a chance to make a historic appointment and one that allows him to followthrough on the campaign promise that he made at a time when he was in some ways, if i may use this, throwing a long ball as a candidate who was in some trouble, trying to make an
appeal as a candidate, and then time has brought that to fruition where he now has the moment where he can make that a pivot point in american history and place an african american woman jurist on the high court. >> right. pete williams, do we officially call this a short list? and i say this, the three names i feel like i hear the most from the white house, is judge brown jackson, obviously, sort of been i guess compared to the person that we've heard the most, justice leondra kruger of california, supreme court justice, and judge michelle childs, who we know jim clyburn has been pushing. is that fair to call this a short list, or are we still too early there, pete? >> it is officially the short list as of thursday, 1:05 eastern time. these things tend to change. i know the administration has reached out to affinity group saying you know the names that we have, if there are any other
african american talented people that you think we ought to be considering, let us know. so, you know, these things tend to change over time, and of course now the process begins, although i think it has to some extent already begun, looking into the backgrounds of these potential candidates. and of course this is why in recent years presidents of both parties have tended to choose people who are current judges or have judicial experience, because they have a written record and they hope there are no more surprises when they get before their confirmation hearings or get on the bench. but, yes, i think it's fair to say that these are the names that have been out there for, well, almost a year, chuck, you know, the talk coming last term about breyer potentially retiring. we started to hear about ketanji brown jackson and leondra kruger. >> i have to ask about the oddness, i don't know if it's odd, but judge childs is going to be in a confirmation hearing while potentially interviewing for another judgeship here,
right? how unique is that? >> yeah. that is very unusual. you know, there have been some pretty quick turnarounds of people who got on a court of appeals and then found themselves having to figure out how to get to the supreme court to go to work after very little experience on the bench. you know, john roberts wasn't on the appeals court that long, amy coney barrett wasn't, so there could be some relatively quick turnarounds. that would be unusual. speaking of unusual, its unusual for a supreme court justice to hand deliver his letter of retirement, which is what we understand justice breyer did today. it's not unprecedented. we think justice kennedy did the same thing and so did harry blackmon, but usually when justices retire, they dispatch their letters down to the white house, so this is somewhat unusual but understandable in the current climate. >> i have to say i love his letter because it's so perfunctory. the first sentence cites the provision of 21 usc 31-b.
that's exactly what i want. >> but in true buyer fashion, no footnotes. >> no, but he enormously appreciated the privilege. it was very, very breyer and i loved it. maiya wily, before we get into the specifics of different potential nominees, this moment for women of color in the legal community. >> it is hard to overstate just how important and powerful and inspiring a moment this is. talking act women of color and black women in particular grossly underrespected on the bench. only 3% of federal judges are black women currently, and a big part of that is because for far too long highly qualified women of color have been overlooked or
simply don't fit a box that is considered necessary to join the bench. and one of the exciting things that president biden has done even prior to this moment is not only appoint 42 new judges in his first year in office, which was a record, but so many of them look like the united states of america, including more black women. and that's critically important for the pipeline. you know, one thing i just want to note right here, chuck, is we often look at whether or not someone has been a supreme court clerk. as part of the conversation about whether to qualify. well, 85% of white men between 2005 and 2017 alone, it is one that has been not sufficiently diverse. but that has nothing to do with who's qualified, and i think that's part of why this is such an exciting moment. >> and maiya, the importance of -- it's interesting and i know there's many people that
assume okay, it's going to be judge brown jackson, telegraphed it from the beginning, she's been prepared for this moment and all of this, but it seems to me it will be very healthy for legal community in general to surface up a pretty long short list of prominent -- essentially creating more prominent african american women in sort of the legal conversation nationally. >> well, yes, and i actually think that's been happening. i mean, despite the short list of three we're hearing from pete, who knows all and we always listen to, is the fact that there is a longer list already of highly qualified women. and one of the reasons this matters so much is it also becomes a pipeline to other judicial nominations because we do have trial courts, district courts, but we also have our appellate courts, and, you know, we only have 11 black women in all of our appellate circuits on the federal bench.
that's ridiculous. and that can change with this kind of pipeline, and that's the kind of pipeline all americans need to see for all those of us who make up america. >> gene robinson, if you look at the short list of three for now, the one with pete, i'm going to guess you're gravitating to the south carolina woman. i'm gravitating to the one who went to my rival high school in miami in judge brown jackson. we all have our own sort of -- some connection you find to some of these folks. what do you sense that president biden is looking for and how he's differentiating to what he wants on the bench? >> well, you know, that's not entirely clear. it is clear that he wants to appoint the first black woman as a supreme court justice. beyond that, obviously somebody who shares his judicial views and outlook on, you know, judicial -- on the law and on
american society, i think. and i think any of the judges and justices on pete's short list would certainly fit the bill. actually, looking at judge brown jackson, and she checks every single box including clerking at the supreme court. >> clerk for breyer. >> exactly. >> yeah. >> so, you know, and that's another kind of succession that happens that we see, a justice retires, a clerk takes their place. so, you know, what i think part of the impact, and, you know, you talked about this a bit at the beginning, but it gives the democratic party a chance to stop moping and to talk about something that the party agrees on, the party can celebrate, and to engage in a battle if indeed
republicans want to make it a battle but a battle they could win. so it's very healthy, i think, for the democratic party as it looks toward the midterm. you have to have your base animated. this will help animate the most loyal base the democratic party has, which is black women. >> that's what i was curious about is how much of a difference you think this could make. and do you expect this future supreme court justice to be iconic in the black community like thurgood marshall was? >> absolutely. absolutely. i do think this justice will be an icon like marshall because she is breaking a glass ceiling. she is breaking a barrier. she will be the first, and that's how history will remember her. and i think that's how a lot of
people will celebrate her once she is named and confirmed. >> john bresnahan, is this going to be much ado about nothing at the actual confirmation hearings once this gets started? is mitch mcconnell going to say, hey, don't make a big deal out of this, we're not going to win this fight, it doesn't change the court, and make all your questions about inflation? >> you know, i think there's something to that. you know, it's not going to change the ideological balance of the court. it will still be 6-3. conservatives will still have an overwhelm mag joe torre. you're not going to get a lot of republicans to vote for this nominee, i don't care who it is. all these people we're talking about are wildly qualified for the job, but there's not going to be a lot of republican support. in fact, you know, the number of republicans in play, you know, you can probably count on one hand, pretty easily on one hand. i think susan collins and lisa murkowski and maybe one of the
retiring -- >> well, lindsey graham has been voting for a majority so far of his judicial picks, right? >> yeah. but i think kavanagh and how he built on him as a supreme court nominee is different, and i don't see it. i've been talking to a couple republican senators. you saw graham's comments yesterday. maybe a rob portman could be open. he's retiring, somebody like that. i could see being open to it, but i wouldn't count it. this could very easily be a 50/50 vote or51/49 if collins -- she's the one in play here. i think the messaging by the president today saying late february was kind of aimed at collins and/or murkowski. they don't want to rush. you had dick durbin, the chair of the senate judiciary committee, call collins saying you're going to have the time to do the research you need to do.
i think that's a message that clearly democrats would love to have collins vote for this nominee and/or murkowski, but i'm just not sure it's there. i do think that this is not going to change the arc of the elections, as historic as this is. it's not. it's a big deal, but i don't think in november this is going to be determinative. if there's another seat that composite open, that's a different case, but i think in this case the impact will be limited, but democrats talking about anything but their failures is good for them. >> right. it buys time. the real supreme court news that could change this election is a ruling in june on roe. pete williams, in your cursory review of the short list here, do you see any potential yellow flags? there's clearly no red flags here for anybody as far as -- do you see any yellow flags? >> no, i don't. i mean, ketanji brown jackson will certainly be asked about
her opinion about whether done mcgahn has to answer questions from congress. that might not sit well with some, but, you know, the supreme court has never definitively brought the trump administration's view on immunity for officials or the inability of congress to ask questions. i'm sure that will come up, but, you know, remember in the sonia sotomayor case what seemed to potentially trip her up and eventually turned out not to be a big deal was a speech where she said the whole "wise latina" comment and she had to explain that away. it takes a while for these things to surface if, indeed, they're going to surface. >> maya, you're like, judge brown jackson has been through this process with this senate, i could argue a supreme court justice from california, so localized, it will be hard to nationalize things she's done. when you're looking at those
vetting things, any yellow flags you see? >> i don't see any, and i think the reality of the politics of this nomination is not going to be about their actual records, just like the "wise latina" kerfuffle for sonia sotomayor. all she was saying is it does matter what our experiences are that we bring to the bench, and her and president biden talk about experience today. experience also includes lived experience, how we understand the facts we are hearing, how we understand the application of the law. that's what a judge does. but that is an example of how the politics of this works. so i would expect that we're going to see republicans in particular looking for things they can make sound bites out of to be the red meat for fox news, but that has nothing to do with any actual yellow flags. >> kelly o'donnell, the speed with which the white house made sure we knew they had, oh, we've
got a pretty good list, we've been working on this, i think it does show there's clearly some department in the white house, counsel's office, obviously, who's been doing some early vetting. >> definitely. and it also plays to the issue of many people were looking to a biden presidency with that competency and knowing how to run government, and so every white house should always be prepared for a vacancy on the court. in recent years, we've seen two of those with scalia and bader ginsburg coming at the death of the justice, and with kennedy, it was a retirement, and now with breyer it's a retirement, so they have to be ready. one of the things i'll be looking for, too, is the influence of james clyburn. if not for him, would joe biden be president. he's got a favorite in michelle childs. and tim scott is a senator from south carolina. would he be motivated to support michelle childs if she were the nominee?
a republican senator from south carolina, african american, would that be a draw? would that figure into the calculus as they go forward as well? so those are some of the things i'll be looking for as well. and the outside groups will have their moment here, and that will be interesting to see how this white house interacts with those groups. and when you consider some of the groups that were so aggressive in pressuring justice breyer to make this decision, now, they're some of the very voices who will be weighing in on who comes next. >> well, biden made that pledge to appoint a black woman to the supreme court at a south carolina debate within a day or two of that endorsement that essentially ended the nomination when clyburn came in for biden. so, excellent point there, kelly. kelly, pete, maya, eugene, john, thanks for getting it started. up next, the supreme court nomination process adds to the already extremely long to do list for senate democrats. as we go to break, here's
justice breyer discussing his legacy and his hopes for the future of this very divided nation, perhaps best captured with a quote directly from the gettysburg address. >> a country that was dedicated to liberty and the proposition that all men are created equal, conceived in liberty. those are his words. and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. and we are now engaged in a great civil war to determine whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. dedicad tecan long endure. i have friends. [ chuckles ] well, he may have friends, but he rides alone. that's jeremy, right there! we're literally riding together.
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joining me now is virginia democratic senator tim kaine. senator, welcome back to the show, sir. >> great to be with you. thanks. >> let's talk about stephen breyer for a second first before we get to replacing him. his legacy as far as you're concerned. >> 40-plus years, 14 as an appellate judge and nearly 28 on the supreme court, that's a significant public service. i had a chance once to have dinner with justice breyer as part of a huge banquet in washington, and the guy is so learned. we saturday there talking about what was the most influential work of art in the 20th century. he could deliver a really
persuasive case on virtually any topic, encyclopedic in his learning. and the court will miss him. but mooib has a superb opportunity to put his own stamp on the court and i'm excited about that. >> a great description of breyer as learned. i feel the same way, like, my god, he's just one of these interesting people. he is the perfect dinner party person, and i say this not as anything other than you just can't believe the level of knowledge that he has. let's move to what president biden wants to do. look, we're going to have an african american nominee. he's promised that. what is the importance of identity to you and the court, number one? and then what's the next criteria you're looking for? >> the reason the identity issues are important is the court for so long only pulled from a very tiny part of the american talent pool.
for example, his nominee is a woman, then you might have this situation, wow, you know, four women would be on the supreme court. that is astounding in one way, but when more than 50% of our population is women, it's a long time overdue in another way. if it's an african american woman -- i confronted this when i was governor in virginia for a number of years before i got there. it was sort of acceptable to have one african american on the virginia supreme court. and i was, like, well, you know, why does it have to be one? why not have two african americans on the virginia supreme court? and so i put an african american on and broadened who was on the court. and so i think that the identity issues one day and the future of our country may not be so important, but we still have so many institutions that don't really look like the population of our country looks. and that's why i know that president biden wants a court that really is more reflective of who we are as a nation. >> what are some issues that you
would like to see dealt with that aren't the ones we always deal with with supreme court nomination, usually precedent, abortion is usually front and center, maybe the role of federal government, sort of the larger philosophical role of the federal government versus the states. whaems is something you'd like the get at here? and do you see a distinction between potential nominees that are interesting to you? you have one person who's not ivy league at all. is that something you think the president should consider? what else are you seeing? >> here's some things that interest me, chuck, and i'm only starting to superficially analyze the names i'm seeing, you have a couple of people who were district court judges and they tried a lot of cases as district court judges. that's really important because the supreme court often is rendering decision that essentially are telling the
lower courts, state courts, how to try cases, how to deal with evidentiary matters, how to deal with confessions, how to deal with police misconduct claims. and finding judges that have a deep background of either having tried cases or been trial judges can be really helpful because a lot of the court's docket is ultimately about that. i'm intrigued when i see judges mentioned whose experience has been on state court benches not just federal court benches. one of the kanld dits is a supreme court justice in california. you know, that used to be more common. justice brennan was a state supreme court justice. justice o'connor came off a state appeals court. it's been more common recently to go with judges from the federal bench. but i think judges who have significant state court experience can be important because a lot of the supreme court docket is review of state statutes to see if they comply with the federal constitution. so i think that can be an important experience.
and what president biden has done already in his appointments to the lower courts is he sort of broadened the professional background, federal public defenders are getting on the bench. that wasn't the case. private practitioners who did civil rights work are on the bench. that wasn't so often the case. so before we even get to issues, i think looking at people's diversity, not just as demographic diversity but diversity in life experience and their professional careers are really important. >> let me ask you about the state of the democratic party, the state of the democratic senate and how's everybody getting along. is this an opportunity to sort of calm the waters? do you view this as an opportunity to sort of lower the temperature, maybe build back better can get negotiated without everybody watching, while everybody's attention is on this? is this a useful interruption, if you will? >> you said it better than i would have. really, i was really
disappointed we fell short on voting rights. i was disappointed it took us so long to get the infrastructure deal done. now that we have it done, i think we're going to see it being very helpful. and i do think we will get a version of build back better, i call it education in workforce, because to me that's the core of it, i think we'll get it done. you're right, sometimes it's easier to close a deal if everybody's focused on something else rather than closing phase of those negotiations. i'll also mention, you know, as we're grappling as democrats with what could be a challenging midterm, look, this economic growth number today, you add that up to unemployment declines in wage growths, and we still have some challenges, but i see the signs together with some of the health data of kind of great american comeback that we might really be living and experiencing in a powerful way come spring. i think the successful battle over highly qualified supreme court nominee could add to that
uplift. >> i am 70% there with you. i've just seen news of a new variant people are discovering, and then you're like, who knows? we can hope the corner gets turned. >> we're not going to be done with covid, you know, anytime soon, but i have a feeling we're going to be living more normally with covid as huger percentages of people are vaccinated and have natural immunities. i think that, yeah, it would be whistling past the graveyard to see it would be entirely gone. but the fact that we are living more normally with it and more comfortably with it come spring, i think that's very realistic. >> senator tim kaine, democrat from virginia, former governor who's done his share of appointments to courts. thanks for coming on and sharing your perspective. >> absolutely. turn noug to some midterm news, we've got another sign the democrats' outlook to hold the house this november is a bit pessimistic. the house's democratic campaign
arm is classifying seven more incumbents as front liners in need of more party resources to hold seats in november. new name isen collude the likes of josh scottheimer. here's the poll list of front liners. the tally has grown to 32 incumbents deemed vulnerable. the 32 lawmakers being vulnerable are just the ones that are running for re-election. democrats are also seeing many members head towards the exits at least in part because of serving in a republican-controlled house. as of now, 29 house democrats have announce that i would ear retiring or seeking another office this november. to put that in perspective, that's 13% of all house democrats will be hanging it up. we still have nine months until election day, and this supreme court news could end up changing the trajectory for democrats, but at this point, the data points are piling up in the other direction. up next, president biden is expected to speak to ukraine's president later this hour as
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prohibited from ever joining nato. of course that is not an option. no specifics on the written response. the secretary of state said the letter reiterated the administration's support for nato's open-door policy and says it lays out a serious diplomatic path forward should russia choose to take it on other concerns perhaps forced postures, things like that. meanwhile, nato's secretary-general called on russia to immediately de-escalate the situation and stressed a political solution is still possible. the russian ministry maintains their troop movement is part of the military exercises they're conducting and it is the west escalating tensions. however, intelligence and defense officials tell nbc news that american and western intelligence agencies are seeing an increasing likelihood of a russian incursion in the next few weeks. as we said, ukraine's presidential office announced that a call between president biden and president zelensky will take place at 2:00 this afternoon. we'll have to wait and see what comes of that conversation.
up next, if you're confused by the ups and downs of the stock market and of the covid recover, the impact of inflation and the fed's tea leaves on interest rates, what does it mean for your bottom line? we'll try and make some sense of it next. you're watching "meet the press daily." you're watching "meet the press you're watching "meet the press daily. you could, but i'm not gonna. subway keeps refreshing and refreshing and re... with hepatitis c i felt i couldn't be at my best for my family. in only 8 weeks with mavyret i was cured. i faced reminders of my hep c every day. i worried about my hep c. but in only 8 weeks with mavyret i was cured. mavyret is the only 8-week cure for all types of hep c. before starting mavyret your doctor will test if you've had hepatitis b which may flare up and cause serious liver problems during and after treatment. tell your doctor if you've had hepatitis b, a liver or kidney transplant, other liver problems, hiv-1,or other medical conditions, and all medicines you take.
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welcome back. if the pending supreme court vacancy gives the biden administration a chance to reset the narrative in washington, it also receives some data to support the economy. the gdp grew and surpassed most economic predictions. the labor department reported weekly jobless claims were 260,000, less than expected and down 30,000 from the previous week. at the same time, the economic growth is prompting the fed to consider taking action,
signaling it could raise interest rates in march for the first time in more than three years amid soaring inflation. i'm joined by mark standee, chief economist for moody's analytics. let's start with the issue of inflation and whether the fed's moves are going to have an impact and how quickly. we've studied this in the past. what's your expectation? what's your best assessment here? >> yeah. it will have impact, chuck, with a lag. it won't be next week. it won't be next month. may not even be next quarter. but, you know, as the federal reserve raises interest rates, normalizes rates, you know, of course they've been incredibly low, at zero, which is historically low, as they raise those rates it takes a little bit of steam out of the economy. of course, you know, it makes it harder to buy a home, to refinance, for businesses to invest, and growth slows and that ultimately causes an
inflation to come in. places lit come in regardless of what the fed does because a big part of what goes on with the inflation is simply the pandemic. the pandemic has disresulted the supply side of the economy, global supply chains, and as the pandemic recedes, which i think it will, the inflation will. regardless, the economy is strong, coming close to full employment. they need to normalize the interest rate. >> mark, the question i have is there isn't a lot of evidence that the supply chain is going to get fixed anytime soon. not with china sit with a covid zero policy. what happens if we're staring at a situation where we've done what we can with our economy but the supply chain continues to cause this inflation issue? what tools do we have then? >> well, you're right. that's a problem. that will be a big issue. in fact, we don't see the pandemic recede if people don't get back to work. they get back to health, they get back to work, if we can't
get through the supply chain issues. you can see that in the vehicle industry. they got nailed because they couldn't get chips, semiconductors out of southeast asia because of the delta variant. now they're getting chips, so production is up, vehicle production is up. we'll start seeing, you know, inventories start to rise and prices start to come in. but, you know, you're right, if that doesn't happen, if my forecast is wrong, inflation rates are more persistent, then we have a bigger problem. the administration has to focus on trying to work through those bottlenecks, things like trying to make sure that the ports are working as well as they can, trying to make sure the cdc rules are such that we can get people back on the job as fast as possible. working with the chinese to figure out how to get the factories reopened and the ports work well. those are the nitty-gritty things they can do, but it will be tough going. >> what about your labor forecast? because we have a labor shortage, particularly in the
lower wage sectors here. and there doesn't seem to be any political appetite to do the things with our immigration system that perhaps could help this. that has an impact on inflation, does it not? >> sure does. the most immediate issue, though, is a lot of sick people, like the census just reported, they've been doing this great survey since the pandemic hit, and they showed in mid-january, a week or two ago, that 12 million people were not working because they were sick, they were taking care of someone who was sick, or they were fearful of getting sick that's as high as it's been throughout the entire pandemic. so that's omicron. so we have to get to the other side of omicron and get people back to work. but you make a great point. even on the other side of the pandemic, labor will be an issue and one reason is pure demographics, baby boomers like me are retiring, millennials are already in the labor force, and immigration is depressed, and if we want to address the labor shortage and grow at a pace that we've been growing, we need to
see more immigrants of all skill levels -- high skill, low skill, medium skill -- come into the country. >> so when you look at where things are going to be by the end of the summer, and this assumes that this is -- that we're -- and it's hard because the last summer we got -- that's when the last variant came, but assuming it is this recovery on covid continues, do you expect a plateau of inflation by the summer at a minimum? >> at minimum. i expect it to be coming in. i mean, i think that the trend lines on inflation will look pretty good by the summer. but, you know, that's based on lots of assumptions, including that the pandemic will recede. you know, we'll probably have another wave, you know, maybe this summer, but it will do less disruption to the economy, help their system than omicron did, which did less damage than the delta wave. as long as the pandemic
continues to move to the right direction, then i think inflation will mod rate by the summertime. >> mark, always good to get your expertise. thank you. >> thanks. >> coming up, new promises from the epa fighting water and air pollution in communities of color. this is "meet the press daily." this is "meet the press daily. -hey tex, -wooo. can someone else get a turn? yeah, hang on, i'm about to break my own record. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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by water and air pollution in this country. it's just a fact. now the epa is promising to try to do better. outlined steps to beef up monitoring and enforcement in federal rules in some of those states. my colleague morgan radford spoke to the epa administrator about the plan. this is what he had to say. >> all of the actions, morgan, that we're taking in direct response to what the community asked us to do. >> our businesses have the resources to invest in the pollution control technologies to curtail these emissions. they have a responsibility. a responsibility to be good neighbors, and we're going to hold them responsible for that. >> the announcement came on the same day that a study found that americans that inhale soot face a greater chance of dying early. as many as 143,000 deaths could
have been prevented over the decade. morgan, this is something politicians have talked about for a while. this really is the first time it feels like government has actually tried to -- to do a make good. >> it is interesting, chuck, because i just spoke to a gentleman who grew up and spent his entire life in cancer alley which is in the american southeast which cancer rates are the highest in the world. he said, morgan, we have just been bombed with pollution for decades over and over and over again. he said this is the first time he's really felt like an administration is about to make good on its promise. we're talking again about this area known as cancer alley. it is a stretch of land between new orleans and baton rouge. we're talking about 130 pet row chemical plants and refineries. this is an area where a majority of the neighborhoods there are
at least 90% black. this community has been made promises for decades and nothing so far has really changed. they said that we finally feel like we have hope, even though we're skeptical. the big changes, number one, more money. $600,000 to deal with air pollution monitoring. number two, they will have air pollution monitoring and increased number of inspectors. but three and perhaps most importantly, the epa will do these surprise pop-up visits to see if they're actually holding them accountable. take a listen. >> these people have been ignored for far too long. you were there on the ground with me in november. and you saw firsthand the fathers and grandfathers and grandmothers and children living in these industrial complexes so close to all of this pollution and all of these industrial practices. >> but what happens if those pollution levels are, in fact, exceeded? i mean, how is the epa going to enforce these standards? >> we will enforce the law.
and that law requires that these facilities curtail their emissions, that they put on more monitoring equipment. and if they cannot meet the law, then they are closed down until they can. we have an obligation to protect our communities, and this administration and this epa we will do that. >> look, chuck, it is an obligation they're finally naming. and obligation the administration says they are finally going to address. so, of course, we asked if there are going to be any more tours in places like this across the country and the epa administrator said, look, there is still more to do to make sure these promises are delivered but they do plan to expand this now to other places around the country. >> morgan, i'm glad we are trying to clean up in the aftermath. i think i have had family members who i think were part of a cancer cluster because of essentially poor planning of communities close to things. and i'm curious. what are we doing about going forward, right?
we're trying to get at what we've done wrong in the past. are we going to have more par ram meters of where you develop moments? are we still trying to clean up our past? >> a little bit of both. we're willing to level fines and shut these places down if in fact it comes down to that in terms of enforcement. but the thing i noticed that's different it feels like this time around is they're actually bringing in the people that are affected to help realize what that solution will be, chuck. >> you know, it's been a long time since erin brockovich. it's good to see government finally responding, but it's amazing it's taken this long. >> thanks for sending us there to cover it. we appreciate it. >> great to see you. thank you all for being with us this hour. we're back tomorrow with more "meet the press" daily. we will continue after this week. we will continue after this we will continue after this week
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good to be with you. two big stories at the white house today. president biden just hosted justice steven briar who made his retirement from the supreme court official. briar giving a not so subtle warning that our democracy started out and still is a big experiment and that it is up to us to ensure its success. while the president reiterated his intention to choose a
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